TOKYO (AP) -- Nintendo Co. returned to profit in the first half of the fiscal year from a loss a year ago as the Japanese video-game maker erased foreign exchange losses and turned more profit with game-software sales.

Group net profit totaled 46.4 billion yen ($451 million) for the six months ended Sept. 30, an improvement from a 2.9 million yen loss the same period a year ago, the Kyoto-based maker of Super Mario and Pokemon games said Thursday.
First half sales fell because a sales boom in a revamped Game Boy handheld machine subsided from a year ago. But Nintendo managed to make profit because it was selling more game software, such as popular Pokemon games, rather than machines, it said.

Software games are cheaper to make than consoles, and game design companies generally make more profit with hit games.

Console sales were expected to pick up in coming months because the Nintendo DS, a handheld machine with two screens, including a touch-panel, are selling in the United States and will hit stores next month in Japan.

Nice to see the reversal from last year's yen/dollar fluctuation. Also dug up hardware/software figures from their PDF, seems like DS expectations have raised yet again.

Current Figures (as of September 2004)
-GBA Hardware: 58,130,000
-GBA Software: 221,690,000

-GC Hardware: 15,970,000
-GC Software: 125,960,000

Projected Figures (as of March 2005)
-GBA Hardware: 67,400,000
-GBA Software: 260,790,000

-GC Hardware: 19,070,000
-GC Software: 152,870,000

-DS Hardware: 5,000,000
-DS Software: 15,000,000